Why Lou Thesz goes over everyone.

Discussion in 'Campaigning Headquarters' started by Gelgarin, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. Gelgarin

    Gelgarin Gentleman of the Old School

    Oct 10, 2007
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    In celebration of the 5th annual wrestlezone tournament, Gelgarin is proud to present his new and totally original opus entitled...

    Why Lou Thes goes over Sting EVERYONE!

    Let it begin.

    There is a lot of wiggle room surrounding the issue, but I strongly believe that I would not be totally out of place to assert that the most popular person on this forum (person as in wrestler, not person as in Luther) more often than not turns out not to be Lou Thesz. This sucks and puts me and an unfair disadvantage from the get go, but hell, I'll roll with it. In previous iterations of this tournament and others Lou Thesz has been undeservedly eliminated by such names as Sting and Harley Race. Think about that for a moment, Sting and Harley Race kick all kinds off ass, and I still take them going over Lou as a personal insult. That's how good Lou Thesz was.

    I fully appreciate that Thesz won't win this year. I mostly blame that on the existence of young people and the ignorant. It is well known that half th forum pretends to like Asian wrestlers to make themselves look cool (like those teenagers who watch anime and eat raman) but for some reason the same mindset has never come about regarding old school legends. I'm up against insurmountable odds, and the first step in overcoming them is to try and spread a little education as to why exactly Lou Thesz should be winning this thing.

    My only hope is to sway enough of the wavering early voters to create some early momentum, and push Thesz as far as he can possibly go until he runs headfirst into a contemporary favorite.

    You see, the fact of the matter is that there is absolutely not reason, aside from self-admittedly just voting for your favorites (as opposed to the superior wrestler), why you should vote for [insert name of Thesz's opponent] in this contest. I spent the last week coming up with possible criteria that people could vote based upon, and I can safely say that Thesz comes out ahead of 95% of the feild in every single one. Critical essays are supposed to outline their topics for discussion during the opening, but I think that ship's pretty much sailed, so I shall do so now.

    I this essay I intend to prove that, in relation to people who are not Lou Thesz, Lou Thesz was;

    A better legit wrestler.
    A better kayfabe wrestler.
    A better technical wrestler.
    A faster wrestler.
    A smarter wrestler.
    A better conditioned wrestler.
    A more important wrestler.
    A more popular wrestler.

    So, without further ado, let us begin our journey towards;

    Why Lou Thesz Goes Over Sting EVERYONE.

    Part 1: Lou Thesz was a better legit wrestler.

    A lot of people are going to say that it doesn't matter, which is a fair stance to take, although personally I think that they're wrong. Mark Henry uses the gimmick of being the worlds strongest man, and has power lifting credentials to justify it. I don't think many people would dispute that as proof of his strength, and this is in a time period where kayfabe and real life and much less blurred that in Thesz's era. When Lou Thesz went to work in Mexico, promoters often asked him what him gimmick was (American workers at the time traditionally came to the ring in business suits or overalls) and he always responded that his gimmick was wrestling.

    Lou Thesz's gimmick was that he was the most talented legitimate wrester in the world, and he had the credentials to prove it. Aside from shoot fight victories over guys like Gotch and Inoki (the later in 14 seconds for those who are interested) you simply have the consider the environments that Thesz fought in. During his ten years as the number one guy in America, Thesz regularly wrestled outside of his own area of influence, going up against local heroes with biased judges who would award any fall against him, and the only way for him to come out on top he would have to physically incapacitate his opponent via a snapped arm or similar.

    Furthermore, one of the downsides of a rigidly upheld kayfabe was that it opened the door to every shooter in the industry (And as the top guy, Lou had a pretty big target on his back). In those days it was very common to see guys going into business for themselves in the middle of matches trying to change the outcome by force. Thesz was a master of defending against these kinds of assaults, and never succumbed to a shoot attack.

    Nobody in the industry could match Thesz is a legitimate contest. He was untouchable. To be frank I do hope I don't have to defend this much. You will find almost nobody educated on this history of the business who will cast doubt of Lou's credentials. A rather notorious tough guy known as The Iron Sheik once ran away from Lou Thesz in the middle of a match, ran all the way out of the arena and hid under a bus, and because Lou was getting a little bit rough. When you have The Sheik cowering under a bus in fear of you, it's safe to say you're a pretty tough guy.

    Part 2) Lou Thesz was a better kayfabe wrestler.​

    Lots of guys have done a lot with their careers. Hulk Hogan dominated the industry winning against almost all of the competition. Goldburg amassed one of the greatest winning streaks of all time. John Cena retained the most coveted prize in wrestling for over a year.

    Lou Thesz has surpassed all of them.

    John Cena (to take a random example) held the WWE (probably the biggest title in the world at the time) championship for 380 days. That's a phenomenal feet, and something that very few wrestlers in the world cna claim to have achieved. Unfortunately for Cena (and everyone else not named Fabulous Moolah), one of those wrestlers is Lou Thesz, who held the NWA championship when it was the biggest title in the world, and held it for a combined 3,749 days. That's almost ten times longer than Cena. Add to that the fact that Cena defended his title roughly once a month, whilst Thesz defended his multiple times a week, and you begin the get a measure of that achievement means.

    To take another name from earlier, Goldberg is famous for his undefeated streak which is claimed to have run for 173 matches (many of which seem to have taken place during a tournament in Rio *5 points for anyone who gets this*) 173 matches is great and all, but Lou Thesz went undefeated when facing stiffer competition for well over four years. That's four years, wrestling multiple times a week against main event level adversaries without losing a single match. Records from this far back are slightly sketchy so it's impossible to say exactly how long his streak was, but a commonly accepted figure is around 936 consecutive wins.

    As you can see, Lou Thesz was arguably the most dominant champion pro wrestling has ever seen.

    But what does a title matter? Well, it singles that you are the best wrestler in the world, but I think I can see where people are going with this. Somebody's going to claim that Thesz may have defeated every single notable wrester from his time period, but that doesn't matter because none of them are household names any more.

    Here is a list of people Lou Thesz has defeated.

    Harley Race.
    Terry Funk.
    Dory Funk (I think. It was a Funk, and wasn't Terry)
    Bruno Sammartino.
    Antonio Inoki.
    The Original Nature Boy Buddy Rogers
    Antonio Rocca
    Every big name American between 1940 and 1960.

    I've tried to keep the list brief, and limit it to people everybody is going to know. If I wanted to rattle off old school legends that he's defeated then I could, but I'm assuming that anybody well versed enough in their wrestling history to know about guys like Gagne and Zabisco doesn't need me telling them that Thesz was bigger and better than them.

    When it comes to kayfabe record, nobody has ever been as dominant for a long as Lou Thesz was. In a kayfabe confrontation Lou Thesz wins every time.

    Part 3) Lou Thesz was a better technical wrestler​

    This monstrosity is already getting pretty long, so save me some grief and don't make me argue this. Lou Thesz invented half the holds in his arsenal. He was a master of submissions and takedowns. Nobody in the industry had a better understanding of leverage and weight dynamics. Lou Thesz was a better technical wrestler than anybody else... ever. The greatest technical legends of the era (Verne Gagne and Karl Gotch) have openly admitted that Thesz was the greatest of all time. I'll debate power and prestige if you like, but if anyone is seriously going to tell me that Lou Thesz isn't one of the all time technical greats then I simply don't have time for you.

    Part 4) Lou Thesz was a faster wrestler.​

    Let’s be clear here, I’m not talking about nailing spinning back kicks or hitting a 540 corkscrew shooting star press off the top rope. Thesz never needed that shit to be entertaining. What I’m talking about is attack speed. Thesz’s offence is best compared to a freight train. Once he gets going he doesn’t stop, and he doesn’t slow down. When a modern wrestler executes a backdrop there's a pause of a few seconds whilst he gets back to his feat. When Thesz executed his famous Greco-Roman backdrop he would be on his opponents within the blink of an eye. Thesz was capable of working a match at a pace that would make his opponents virtually pass out. Buddy Rogers once famously had to be carried from the ring, after Thesz went full speed for sixty minutes. Now Buddy Rogers was lazy and shit, but it doesn’t change the fact that he was a conditioned athlete, and Thesz’s ability to physically incapacitate him without shooting in any way, speaks volumes.

    Part 5) Lou Thesz was a smarter wrestler.​

    Against most of the competition this isn't hard. Pro wrestlers are bloody stupid for the most part. Hulk Hogan couldn't win a match without wasting five minutes playing to the crowd. Ric Flair used to keep climbing the top robe despite it having an almost 0% success record. Before going for a Stinger Splash the Icon usually feels the need to turn to the crowd and shout "woo" [translation: I'm going to go for a Stinger Splash, move if you feel like it].

    Today's professional wrestlers spend altogether too much time focusing on the crowd or on their valets or on whether or not the referee is conscious (I'm looking at you TNA), and not enough time on their opponents. The amount of times top guys lose control of a match by doing something stupid or by losing concentration baggers belief.

    Lou Thesz doesn't do that. He wrestles his opponent until he wins. He doesn't showboat. He doesn't get distracted. If he's going to lay around on the canvas not doing anything for a few minutes in order to get his breath back then he'll make damn sure to apply a headlock first. I'll admit, it's more that contemporary wrestlers are dumb than that Thesz is a ring genius, but the point still stands.

    Part 6) Lou Thesz was better conditioned wrestler.

    Again, I’d hope that there isn’t too much need to go into depth with this one. Aside from the fact that Thesz wrestled more often than 90% of the guys in this tournament, his matches also went on much, much longer. Every NWA title match was contested under two out of three falls rules, meaning that right from the offset Thesz’s matches were scheduled to go longer. In fact, Thesz frequently competed in matches that lasted sixty minutes plus. These days if two performers go more than twenty minutes it’s considered to be proof of conditioning, yet Thesz was going three times longer than that on a regular basis. Thesz had better cardio, endurance, and resilience. Lou Thesz is the kind of wrestler for who the term “iron man” was originally coined, and there is no question that he’s in a better physical condition than almost anyone who can get thrown at him.

    Part 7) Lou Thesz was a more important wrestler.

    I really want to cap this off at three thousand words, so you’ll forgive me if I try to be brief. Take most guys away from professional wrestling and what you get is professional wrestling without that guy. The Impact of 95% if the names in this thing has been pretty minimal. Once against let me make sure that I’m not misunderstood. Guys like Cena, Jericho, Punk and the like are absolutely tremendous at their jobs, and during their careers have been very important to WWE, but they will not leave the same kind of legacy as someone like Thesz.

    Thesz shaped so many aspects of pro wrestling. He united all the fractured world championships and transformed wrestling from a local to a national sport. He, more than anybody else (although I know some George Tragos fans disagree with me here) was responsible for bringing wrestling into the public eye, and becoming its first ever international superstar. Lou himself might not like me saying this, but Thesz was the business’s Hulk Hogan before the business had Hulk Hogan.

    Thesz was the most important (possible sans Ed Lewis) in ring pioneer ever. I know Wikipedia lists a handful of throws he invented, but it doesn’t acknowledge exactly how much of what we call “professional wrestling” came from the boots of Lou Thesz. Minor mannerisms like refusing to give a clean break out of the corner, whipping to the ropes out of a headlock, or getting in a cheap shot when rising to your feet, these foundations of what pseudo-intellectuals call ring psychology were popularized by Thesz.

    Lou Thesz is responsible for the growth of Wrestling in Japan. It wasn’t until he traveled there and put Dozan over that the sport exploded into the phenomenon that it is today.

    As I said earlier, remove Cena, Edge, Jericho or Santino Marella from the industry and what you get is an industry without that guy. Well it’s the same for Lou Thesz, in that if you take Lou Thesz out of history, then what you get is an industry without Cena, Edge, Jericho or Santino Marella… or anyone else for that matter. Professional wrestling needed somebody like Thesz to transfer it from being a sport to being a work. A charismatic monster like Hogan or Sammartino couldn’t have done it. They needed the best in the world. When Thesz began his career professional wrestling was a collection of ragtag promotions of varying degrees of legitimacy. Thesz conquered them all, brought professional wrestling together, and paved the way for the superstars of the next generation to come.

    You take that legitimate lynchpin away from the industry, and it all falls apart. There are maybe three guys in the industry’s history who you can say that about, one if Hulk Hogan, one is Thesz, and one isn't even in this competition this year, and got jobbed out to Bob Backland in round one the last time I payed attention. None of them however can have the claim made about them with the same level of conviction as Lou Thesz. He was flat out essential not just to making the industry what it is today, but in there being an industry in the first place, and in terms of importunateness, the competition (Sans Hogan) simply doesn’t present a challenge.

    Part 8) Lou Thesz was a more popular wrestler

    Let me say right now, in my eyes, this is the most ridiculous reason I can think of to sway your voting. That being said, it’s the most obvious loophole that those looking to vote for people who aren't Thesz “by any means necessary” are likely to take, so I figured I’d better cover it.

    First, let me qualify. Lou Thesz wrestled before the national television era. He didn’t have a weekly TV show to get him over. He was dependent almost entirely on local promotion, and on the word of mouth. And with that huge disadvantage, he still managed to become a bigger sensation than almost anybody in the history of the industry. To put things in simple perspective, if you took Cena off of RAW for six months, it would have a very limited effect on ratings because Cena was simply one of many stars. I know nobody in contemporary wrestling actually draws, but that in itself rather proves my point. If you put Lou Thesz onto a card where previously no Lou Thesz had been, you could realistically expect to double the size of your gate. Thesz drew in the old school sense of the word.

    Most WWE guys have a billion doller marketing machine behind them and are adored everywhere they go, but few can say to be international legends like Thesz. When Thesz (who had personal reputation and word of mouth to market him) used to guest referee matches in Japan they used to give him a five minute standing ovation just for showing up, and this was years before he and Dozan had ever locked up. When Thesz and Dozan did lock up for the first time in Japan, it drew an 87.0 television rating.

    At the end of the day though, it is unfair to guage a wrestlers popularity across such a generation gulf (and this is one of the many reasons why you shouldn’t vote based on popularity). The only way to judge the popularity of a wrestler is against his peers. Lou Thesz outshone every other name in the industry for generations. He was the biggest and the best. People not named Hogan or Sammartino… not so much.

    Now I’ve talked longer than anybody could possibly desire to read, so I’ll wrap up quickly. Lou Thesz should win this competition. We’re going to have to battle every step of the way to make sure he doesn’t get swamped out by the “popular vote”, but he should win. And the reason he should win, at the end of the day, is because he’s Lou Thesz. A true wrestling god.

    Vote Thesz
  2. gd

    gd Plump, Juicy User

    Mar 20, 2009
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    I feel like I've seen this before...
  3. Big Nick Dudley

    Dec 1, 2009
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    (assuming this isn't a copy-and-paste job) I'm voting Thesz..just because of how much work went into this.
  4. Dave

    Dave Administrator
    Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 30, 2009
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    It is a copy and paste effort. Gelgarin did it for the tournament a couple of years back when Thesz was up against Sting. This is quite funny though.
  5. JGlass

    JGlass Unregistered User

    Feb 16, 2009
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    It's also riddled with grammatical and spelling errors. But it's still a good read.
  6. TheOneBigWill

    TheOneBigWill [This Space for Rent]

    May 28, 2007
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    *Waits for Coco to report the copy/paste job*
  7. The Doctor

    The Doctor Great and Devious

    Dec 19, 2008
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    I once parodied this.
  8. Blue Chipper

    Blue Chipper Shapeshifting Humanoid

    Oct 6, 2008
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    I remember this.
  9. The Doctor

    The Doctor Great and Devious

    Dec 19, 2008
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    Only a few people realized it was a joke, though. :icon_neutral:
  10. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

    Jan 8, 2007
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    One of the best posts ever here.

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